145 posts categorized "Emuna and Spirituality"

The Tiniest Light

Tiniest light
Try this experiment: go into a pitch-black room, like a cellar or a bomb shelter with the lights off. Take a pack of matches with you and light a match. Better yet, light a small candle. Notice how one tiny flame illuminates so much darkness. 

The above phenomenon is a wonderful spiritual metaphor: sure, there are tons of evil in the world - wherever you go, wherever you look. But, one righteous person engaged in charitable deeds and in spreading love, peace and joy virtually purifies the atmosphere. The Gemara teaches that such a person can save the world.

You, cherished friend, have every attribute to be that person. Even if you regard yourself as nothing more than one tiny light, you can illuminate the darkness, if you only believe in your ability to do so. G-d bless for a lovely Shabbat!


The Rod and the Staff

Rod and Staff
King David declares to G-d, "Your rod and your staff – they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4). "Staff" is a leaning stick, like the cane that an old man leans on. As such, "staff" symbolizes the comforting presence of G-d, which King David could lean on during all his troubled times. "Rod" symbolizes the punishment stick. King David in effect says to G-d, "Whether You console me and resemble a staff, or whether You torment me and resemble a rod, I am comforted by Your presence." Such a righteous man knows the value of the "rod", which is nothing other than the seemingly bad.

King David, as a three-year old shepherd, killed both a lion and a bear that threatened his flocks. As a twelve year old, he killed the giant Philistine warrior Goliath. David remained undaunted. Only one thought scared him: "Don't cast me away from you, G-d, and don't remove your spirit of holiness from me" (ibid. 51:13). King David's only fear in life was losing the proximity of G-d.

Just as a gold-medal Olympic sprinter cannot be a world champion without supreme effort, King David could not have become G-d's anointed, the head of the messianic dynasty, and role model for subsequent generations to this day, without the many arduous experiences in his life.

When you're able to treat the trying situations of your life as precious gifts designed to enhance your spiritual and emotional growth, then you're well on the way to inner peace.


Double Concealment: You Don't Fool Us, Hashem!

With me

With times as difficult as they are, war on one or more of our borders almost inevitable, chaos in the government and dissolution of the Knesset with elections on the way that simply cause more slander and intramural hate, and on top of it all, losing a great tzaddik yesterday Rabbi Koenig zatza"l, it looks like Hashem is not with us, Heaven forbid. But that's not true! Hashem, we know You're here...

Before his death, the famed Toldos Aaron rebbe, Rebbe Aaron Rota zatza'l, warned that the time before Moshiach would be a period of deep spiritual darkness - the supreme test of faith. But, those who don't get discouraged - and cling to their pure and simple emuna - will invoke the Divine compassion that is not only needed to survive turbulent times, but shall also hasten the Geula.

This period in time is a "hastora", the concealment of Hashem's Divine light. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that the period preceding Moshiach is a "hastora betokh hastora", or double concealment. But, just like Olympic gymnastics, for a greater level of difficulty, you score higher points. When emuna (faith) comes hard, the rewards are beyond our wildest dreams. Hold on, don't give up hope, and keep the faith no matter what - that's the key to staying on your feet in this insane world. Above all, be happy and don't ever despair.

Hashem can hide all He wants, but He's always here - close by - and that's a solemn promise from your friend and brother Lazer. Some chutzpa Hashem enjoys, like when we smile and tell Him, "You don't fool us, Hashem. We know you're here." The warmth of love in our hearts tells us so. How? That's Hashem's light glowing in our chest cavity, right now. I love You, Hashem.


Hashem Loves Me

Do you know why people are weak in their love for others? They don't love themselves.

Do you know why people are weak in their love for themselves? They don't believe that Hashem loves them.

If you feel down for some reason, watch the following 3-minute clip. It will pick you up. My Chanukah gift to you today is a 3-word saying that you must tell yourself as soon as you sense the slightest bit of sadness or depression: Hashem Loves Me. It's true, and it kills the evil inclination. Enjoy.

You can obtain the full-length Hashem Loves Me CD and many more Rav Arush/Brody titles at the Breslev Israel Online Store. These are vitamins for the soul that we all need. Happy Chanukah and a wonderful new month of Teveth!


Free At Last, Free At Last!

IMG_2487 (1)

All you parents out there know exactly what this picture's all about. 

And if you don't, just nod and pretend like you do. No one will know the difference, I promise.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN THESE MOUNTAINS OF BAGS???

SCHOOL SUPPLIESSSSS!!!!! 

And that means....

SCHOOL IS HERE!!!!

Do I sound a little too happy? Well, I am. Because I just spent the last nearly three months on the roller coaster ride of my life, and lucky me, the kids were a part of the excitement every step of the way.

See, isn't it nice how I wrote that? Like, all non-insulting? I could have said they annoyed me to no end with their fighting, complaining, whining, screaming, fighting, not sleeping, and complaining about everything. But I didn't. 

I tell you, I'm completely burnt out. The stress of this summer was astronomical. Gargantuan. Behemoth. Outer space, even. I have no idea what I'm saying anymore because my brain cells are on self-preservation mode. You know, when the machine shuts down into like a hibernation in order to stop it from burning out completely.

Does this make any sense?

Well, the kids started school yesterday and I feel like I deserve a medal or at least an Oscar nomination for Most Wacked Mother of the Year. I'm sure a few of you out there would happily give me that nomination.

Last night I went to sleep at 3:30 because we had just finished registering for the school the week before, and I had just gone school shopping over the past few days. It was completely overwhelming, because not only did I have to get supplies for five kids, which equals like 2,047 different things, but the boxes from our move are still mostly unpacked because I don't have any place to put anything. 

So the stress was... stressful. Very. Very. Stressful.

But in the end, the kids got into a great school at the last minute, and I managed to get 72% of the stuff I needed. Still another round or two to go, but the worst is over.

Finally, after a long, difficult summer, I'm finally starting to see the light. Hallelujah! 

Which leads me to my point.

All of our suffering, all of our challenges - as intense and difficult as they are, the good news is they don't last forever. 

Eventually they pass and we draw on our emuna and gratitude to help us heal and move on.

Sure, much easier said than done.

But that's what life is all about. Overcoming challenges. Learning and growing from those challenges. Completing our soul corrections.

As I advance into adulthood, at least somewhat, I am sometimes terrified by the things I see people going through, Hashem have mercy. While I can't take their pain away, at least I can give them awareness of the life-saving tools that we are so fortunate and blessed to know about.

I can help them understand the concepts of emuna and gratitude. You and I know that there is no greater wisdom to live by in this entire world. Emuna and gratitude literally save lives. They save people's sanity, their marriages, their everything.

No matter what part of the world I decide to hop to next, my life's mission is to help spread the wisdom of emuna and gratitude n any way I can. 

I know that if you're reading this blog, you've likely benefited from these amazing teachings. So I'm asking straight out for you to partner with myself, Rav Brody, and Rav Arush, and the entire Breslev Israel family in spreading emuna around the world. 

Especially with Rosh Hashana around the corner, now is the best time to start the coming year with blessings, both for yourself, your family, and all the people in the world that so desperately need these teachings.

Donate to Emuna Outreach.

Be our partner in making this world the beautiful place Hashem intended it to be.

I wish you all a happy and healthy Shana Tova, and may Hashem bless you with a year filled with health, love, spiritual and material abundance, and most importantly, joy. 

Don't forget to check out Rav Brody's weekly emuna lesson below!

~Racheli